Sales dates set for first products that work with Apple's HomeKit

A thermostat, sensors, an eletrical outlet and a smart home hub are some of the initial products that will work with the smart home platform

One of the many new developer tools Apple unveiled Monday at the Worldwide Developer Conference is HomeKit, a new suite of tools that will let the makers of smart home products integrate their wares more deeply into Apple’s mobile OS.

One of the many new developer tools Apple unveiled Monday at the Worldwide Developer Conference is HomeKit, a new suite of tools that will let the makers of smart home products integrate their wares more deeply into Apple’s mobile OS.

Shipment details for the first patch of devices that work with HomeKit became public on Tuesday, exactly a year after Apple announced the smart home platform.

HomeKit serves as a backbone that allows devices to talk to one another. Companies can use HomeKit to build apps that allow their devices to be controlled by an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.

The initial devices that work with HomeKit include a thermostat, sensors, an electrical outlet, a lighting system and a smart home hub. They can all be controlled with apps built for devices running iOS. For example, people could use their iPhone to turn off a television plugged into a smart outlet or use an Apple Watch to tell Siri to adjust the temperature in a room.

Luton has updated an existing wireless lighting bridge so that it works with HomeKit, letting people turn lights on and off and dim them, as well as control lights in rooms or areas of a home. For example, a person can ask Siri to turn off a light in the basement. The kit costs US$229.95 and went on sale today.

Insteon's hub for linking different smart home systems also went on sale Tuesday. The device, which costs $150, was announced at CES in January.

Ecobee's thermostat can be controlled from outside the home and will cost $249 when it goes on sale July 7. A Wi-Fi-equipped smart plug from iHome lets you turn devices on and off by cutting power to them. It will be available for pre-order on June 15. Pricing information wasn't provided.

Finally, there's Elgato, whose sensors can be used to measure indoor quality, outside weather or detect whether a window or door is open. A smart outlet is also available for European customers. The sensors, which start at $39.95 and go up to $79.95, are now available for pre-order with shipping dates later in the summer, according to the company.

Apple shared the details of HomeKit at its developers' conference last year. Not much had been heard since then about when devices using the platform would go on sale.

Recent media reports claimed that Apple was delaying the launch of products that worked with HomeKit from May or June until August or September. Apple denied those reports, saying that the first devices using the platform would go on sale in June.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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Fred O'Connor

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